Point spread: OFF
Total line: OFF
The red-hot Virginia Cavaliers face-off against the Duke Blue Devils this Thursday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium in an ACC matchup between two of the top teams in the country. Tip-off for this conference clash is set for 9 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Virginia has been the surprise team in the ACC this season with a 14-1 record straight-up and a profitable 7-3 record against the spread. It extended its current winning streak to 12 games with a tight 52-51 victory over Miami (FLA) as a 7.5-point home favorite in last Saturday’s conference opener.
Behind a stifling Cavaliers’ defense that is holding its opponents to an average of just 50.5 points a game, it is little wonder that the total has stayed ‘under’ in nine of 10 games this season. Mike Scott has been a force on offense with a team-high 16.5 points and 9.8 rebounds a game.
Duke has once again vaulted to the top of the rankings with a 13-2 SU start, but it is just 6-9 ATS. It knocked-off Georgia Tech 81-74 in its conference opener last Saturday, but could not cover as an 11.5-point road favorite. This followed a shocking 78-73 loss to Temple last Wednesday as a 7.5-point road favorite.
In direct contrast to Virginia, 10 of the Blue Devils’ 15 games have gone ‘over’ the total behind an offense that is averaging 82.1 points a game and shooting 49.8 percent from the field. Austin Rivers has led the way with 14.7 points a game and Seth Curry is second on the team in scoring with 12.9 points. Mason Plumlee is Duke’s leading rebounder with 9.8 a game and he is chipping-in an average of 11.7 points a game.
The Cavaliers are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall and 15-3 ATS in their last 18 games on the road. The total has stayed ‘under’ in their last four road games.
The Blue Devils are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games at home. The total has gone ‘over’ in 12 of their last 17 games overall and in 10 of their last 14 home games.
Virginia is 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings, but 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 trips to Duke. The road team in this series is 12-3-1 ATS in the last 16 meetings and the total has stayed ‘under’ in five of the last seven meetings at Cameron. With the Cavaliers playing at such a high level, stick with the recent series trends. They may fail to get the straight-up win but keep things close enough to cover on the road.
The Free Pick: Duke 68 Virginia 65
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.